Winter Survival Tips: Electrical Edition
Did You Know Your Holiday Lights Could Be A Fire Hazard?
During the Winter season, in order to survive the frigid temperatures, you’ll likely be spending a lot of time indoors. Although making your home cozy for the holidays is fun, decorations can increase your risk of a home fire. In addition, being aware of electrical safety hazards is imperative to protecting your home and family this season. Winter can be a stressful time, but following these tips will help keep you safe and give you one less thing to worry about as you deck the halls this holiday season!
Winter electrical safety tips
Make the holidays merry and bright and avoid the fear of a raging electrical fire in your home, by taking these simple preventative measures.
1. Christmas lights
One of winter’s most dangerous electrical hazards are Christmas and holiday lights. Although they’re meant to bring cheer and the ambience of the season, they can cause severe damage in your home, or even death. Be sure to take the following steps in order to prevent holiday light disasters:
- Don’t hang lights on a dry tree. Although fire resistant, artificial trees are safest, many of us still prefer the classic live tree in our living rooms. Be sure it’s watered daily, because illuminated lights on a dead, dry tree can turn your living room into a roaring bonfire in a matter of minutes.
Inspect electrical wires for damage. Even small frays or tears could become fire hazards. Although some might use tape to create a quick-fix, this can be dangerous as well. It’s best to just bite the bullet and replace the lights.
- Upgrade to LED lights. Not only are LED’s energy efficient, but they produce virtually no heat, making them the safest choice for holiday illumination!
2. Electrical space heaters
Winter is cold, there’s no denying that getting warm is often the top priority when you want to relax on the couch while watching a Christmas special. Still, space heaters aren’t a safe option. Space heaters are supplemental options and if you feel it’s necessary for a short time, abide by these safety rules:
- Never leave children unsupervised around space heaters as they can burn or shock your child.
- Keep flammable items away from the space heater, including blankets, drapes, paper, or pillows. Allow plenty of space.
- Be sure that the space heater is in good working condition, pay special attention to the plug to avoid electrical hazards.
3. Electric blankets
There’s nothing more comforting than switching on your electric blanket in the winter and feeling that extra boost of warmth! But don’t be fooled by the coziness, electric blankets are fire hazards too. Follow these tips to enjoy your blanket without danger:
Never sleep with your electric blanket. No matter how tempting it may be, you must monitor anything electric, even a blanket.
- Check plugs and wires for bends, frays, or tears. If it’s not in good shape, toss it, it could cause a fire hazard.
- Don’t layer your blankets. It might add to the warmth, but adding an extra blanket on top of your electric one can become kindling for an electrical fire.
4. Electrical safety inspections
Home fires are far more common in the winter, and most begin at night. Being cautious about your electrical safety can help to lower your risk. The holidays put a great strain on your electrical system as it’s being required to perform at a much higher capacity than usual. If you’re not sure what kind of shape your electrical system is in, consider having a trusted electrician perform an electrical safety and maintenance inspection in your home before the holidays hit!